The Delhi Police on Thursday wrote to the BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) stating its inability to provide sufficient staff to assist civic body officials to carry out an anti-encroachment drive in one of its wards (number 101).
It said staff of Sarita Vihar had pre-engagements or were preoccupied in other law and order/investigation duties and hence, “it is not possible to provide sufficient staff to assist SDMC staff in carrying out encroachment removal drive in ward no. 101-S today”.
The Delhi Police further asked the civic body to provide prior intimation of at least 10 days to fix a date for the exercise in the Sarita Vihar police station area.
“It is requested that prior intimation of at least 10 days may be given to fix the date for encroachment removal drive in the area of Police Station Sarita Vihar so that sufficient staff may be given to assist the SDMC staff,” the Delhi Police said in a statement.
A day ago, SDMC mayor Mukesh Suryan said the BJP-governed civic body had started a survey of encroachment of government land. Suryan, who conducted inspections in Sarita Vihar, Jaitpur, and Madanpur Khadar wards, said streets would be freed from “illegal occupation”.
He said “a month-long” plan had been prepared to remove encroachment from government lands, roads, and footpaths in areas, including Okhla, Madanpur Khadar, Sarita Vihar, Jaitpur, Lajpat Nagar, Badarpur, Greater Kailash, Dwarka, Vasant Kunj, Vikas Puri and Shaheen Bagh.
Last week, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation came under fire from several civil rights groups and opposition parties after it bulldozed structures in the Jahangirpuri area as part of an “anti-encroachment” drive.
The demolition drive happened right after the area witnessed violence between Hindus and Muslims on April 16. The action drew sharp criticism from several quarters, with many terming the exercise vengeful. The drive was stopped only after the Supreme Court intervened.
(With agency inputs)